Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Dog Doesn't Die At The End

When my new comic novella SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES came out, it immediately hit Amazon’s Bestseller List of Books About Dogs. It eventually made it to the top of Hot New Releases, but the book that was hard to beat was “JACK: A book about a dog where the dog doesn't die at the end” by Ray Braswell. Why? Well, I imagine because the author lets the readers know right up front that the dog doesn’t die at the end.

As much as I enjoy novels that include dogs, I always hesitate to read them because the dog really always does die at the end and it just tears me up. That said, my favorite novels are THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE RACING IN THE RAIN and SIGHT HOUND, both of which involve the dogs dying at the end. Sigh. Love makes you read strange things.

When I wrote SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES about Talisman the Australian Shepherd I definitely intended for it to end on an upbeat note. And it does. No dogs were harmed in the writing of this novel. Although there are touching moments, it will have you on the floor laughing. It is a funny tale about a prissy show dog mistaken for a cowdog who has to work on a ranch for the day. Along the way she rises to the occasion and learns that she’s not just another pretty face. However, in the end she sure is ready for bottled water and organic kibble, a full grooming, new pedicure, a visit with her Reiki Master, and a consultation with her pet psychic. She is a dog who never loses sight of her priorities.

So, I would like to heartily recommend my new novella SHOW DOG SINGS THE BLUES and assure you that the dog doesn’t die in the end.

In parting, here is an excerpt. Talisman has a play date with her sister, a cowdog named Maddie. After they fall into a mud puddle, confusion arises and Maddie is taken into the house to be groomed and pampered, while poor Talisman has to work stock. After the humiliation of being herded by a flock of geese, Talisman takes a nap and goes to her happy place:

   I dreamt that I was a show dog tragically mistaken for a cowdog, and I did such a heroic job that I inspired both Angelina and Molly. I had my very own ticker-tape parade down Main Street as a marching band played "We Are the Champions." People threw dog treats as I passed. It was glorious!
   I woke up to find a tiny kitten nursing on my ear. It was a major letdown from the epic experience I had just been having.
   I opened one eye and saw her clamped onto the tip of my ear, sucking away, purring her heart out, tiny paws enthusiastically kneading with eager hope of coaxing milk. Sky blue eyes the exact shade of mine looked at me adoringly. Her sweet-smelling fur had shades similar to my own hair—she could have been my daughter, if I had been a cat.
   Geez, so what was I supposed to do now? I might be beautiful, but I wasn’t heartless.
   Before I could sort it all out, a really big Siamese cat leapt onto my bed, hissed at me, took a wicked slap at my nose with angry claws, grasped her baby by its scruff, and carried her away. Little Blue Eyes watched me all the way down the hay stack.
   Ouch! My paw swiped the blood off my nose. This really was a dangerous place—the way things were going, I’d be lucky to get out alive.
   Well, I certainly was wide awake now. I got up and stretched, then climbed down off my perch. Thirsty, I tried to figure out where to find a bottle of water. I had brought my own, but it was in the house. Perhaps Maddie had been able to explain things to Cheyenne, so I headed to check the situation out. I climbed up the porch steps and peered in the window.
   Maddie was lying on the couch atop my super plush throw—she looked so clean. Was that a pink bow in her hair? It was the exact shade of pink as my nails and would have looked very nice on me. I raised my paw and tapped the window.
   Maddie looked at me, leapt off the couch, and raced to the window. Her eyes were frantic. Get me outta here!
   Let me in! I replied.
   She stood up on her hind legs and started pawing at the glass as if she were trying to dig through it. So, I stood up on my hind legs and pawed right back at her. I really don’t know what we hoped to accomplish, but desperation can cloud the mind.
   "Stop that, Tali!" Cheyenne yelled. The cowgirl marched over to the window and gave me an irritated look. "Git, Maddie, you two had your fun. Go on now. It’s time for Tali’s lunch." She carried a bottle of my spring water in one hand and a bowl of my special kibble in the other—my organic turkey and sweet potato, apple, and cranberry kibble that Molly bought for me at The Back to Eden Tree Hugging Organic Granola Shoppe.
   My stomach growled. I really wanted that kibble.
   Cheyenne stuck the bottle of water under one arm so that she had a free hand with which to draw the drapes closed.
   The nerve.

SHOW DOGS SINGS THE BLUES is available as an eBook and print book and is for humans of all ages. For more information and to read additional excerpts, please visit